For this project it was really important to have a stable CMS that could easily be maintained. Experiences from the past led to some frustrations in this area.
A list of the objectives on the wish list of EGZ:
- Show activities on both the homepage and a separate page
- Easily maintain visuals and banners on the homepage with dynamic links to other pages
- Publish different forms to register for e.g. church events
- Publish sermons on a media page, which could be categorized and tagged
- Listen to sermons and download sermons
We used standard modules like ‘blogs’, ‘libraries’ and have extended them with custom metadata and different providers for some specific needs. For the media page a custom control was build to implement specific styling for the paging and filtering of media items.
After the two months all of the objectives are realized. We created a new Sitefinity installation and used most of the time the built-in functionality and made some customizations for specific things.
We used the news module for the default news functionality. Because it is easily to change the templates and extend the standard modules, you can (almost) achieve anything you want
We used the events module to show activities on the website. We created a new provider that offers some extra fields that holds some important information. The main overview of the activities view also is implemented as a custom control to achieve the right look and feel. Thanks to the API it was easy to make use of all functionality like categories and tags.
Every event item and news item can be shared with the common social networks. Also the FB Like button was implemented.
For the media module we created a custom control that fully exposes the functionality of the Library functionality of Sitefinity, through the API. Media items can be categorized and tagged in the backend. It is easy to upload new files to the media page. All files are stored on disk, which makes it easy to backup. With help of the Flow Player visitors can choose to listen to the sermons or to download the files to store on an mp3 player. The Flow Player opens in a new window so that users can browse the site, or other sites, while listening to the sermon.
Visuals and banners
Since the website is very visual, it was important to easily upload new banners and to make a selection of the visuals and banners that should be showed on the homepage. We extended the library metafields with the necessary fields and created some custom controls that could be configured to rotate different visuals and banners. When visitors click on a visual or banner, they navigate to the corresponding page. All these settings are done in the backend with help of custom WebEditors.
The new website is fast compared to the old one. Because of the caching mechanism the pages load faster then before. The team of the EGZ is finding the CMS easy to use, transparent and consistent. Sitefinity has provided in a good looking, professional website that is fast, reliable and flexible. The website can be updated easily.